The Iraq U-23 side will not play at the Asian Games – FIFA.com The Iraq Olympic Committee have pulled the team from the event, according to a source in Baghdad, and the decision will leave officials needing to address an imbalance in the opening phase of the tournament. Last week the Asian Football Confederation conducted a redraw of the competition's group stage to add Palestine and the United Arab Emirates after the pair had been left off the original entry list. That meant two of the six groups swelled from four teams to five, but Iraq's withdrawal now means one group – containing China, Timor Leste and Syria – will feature just three countries. The Olympic Council of Asia, the organizers of the Asian Games, have yet to respond to a request from Reuters for comment. A source at the Iraq Football Association had initially denied reports the team would be removed from the competition and that the squad's preparations were being finalised following the completion of a training camp in the northern city of Erbil. Earlier this week, football officials were reported to have been fired over their involvement in the selection of overage players for the nation's under-16… Read full this story
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